drank 2017 Pussy by white2tea
123 tasting notes

This is the second of the pu’er samples I ordered from white2tea. It has had three weeks to sit in my pumidor before this session. I used 8.4g in a 130ml gaiwan and drank the tea from a Jianzhan teacup I received the same day, in case you feel that may have had an influence on the tea. To my nose the dry leaves seemed to have a smell of pretty typical young raw pu’er. The wet leaves also had a fairly typical warm green, perhaps a bit buttery scent. The smell of the leaves did gradually change over the course of the session, but I didn’t commit to memory all the various stages.

The sample I received was practically mao cha, with only a couple very small intact pieces from the bing in the mix. There’s a fair number of stalks and unlike “f*ck what u heard” where the sample seemed to consists nearly 100% of large, whole, intact leaves, there’s a decent amount of broken leaves to be found. Whereas with “f*ck what u heard” I commented about the rehydrated leaves looking quite healthy, in this tea’s case they seemed kind of sad, pitiable and droopy to me. The leaves seemed so thin they’d disintegrate like wet toilet paper if you rubbed them between your fingers.

I gave the leaves my standard 10s rinse followed by a 10 minute rest. In the meantime I did sip the rinse to get a feel for the tea. It was still light in flavor and texture, which isn’t that unexpected even for mao cha. The tea seemed to feel warming in my mouth, and in my mouth only. The flavor was soft and “white”. I could feel some astringency at the tip of my tongue. After this I proceeded to do eleven steeps, timing for these being 7s, 7s, 7s, 7s, 10s, 15s, 25s, 40s, 70s, 2 min. and 3 min.

The first infusion tasted of cream and vanilla, with some astringency. The next one was water thin in viscosity. Some of the cream was still left, but it was combined with your typical young sheng greenness and astringency. There may have even been some bitterness in this steep, which I don’t recall ever experiencing in a sheng apart from the one Xiaguan tuo I’ve had. The flavor of this infusion did linger in your mouth.

The third steeping had a soft taste of cream merged with green. The astringency was minor at first, but grew over time in your mouth instead of you getting an aftertaste. I may have even detected a slight peppery sensation at the back of my throat. The following steep was super thin in body, with the flavors starting to get thinner as well as a result of me not extending the steeping time thus far. Some of the earlier vanilla was back, accompanied by greenness and astringency.

Starting with the fifth steep, the cream and vanilla finally dropped off and you were presented with a smooth green flavor, with perhaps some slightly vegetal character peeking through. The sixth steep was also mainly just green tasting, with perhaps some butteriness to it, although I’m not totally sure. The seventh infusion was probably the only one I experienced that had even some minor mouthfeel to it. It had perhaps some vegetal and possibly even mineral sweetness to it. This sweetness I experienced struck me as something that might have promise for evolving with age.

The astringency was back from the eighth steep onward. The brief prior mouthfeel was gone and the tea was less enjoyable in general. Flavor-wise the mineral or perhaps vegetal stuff continued to have a presence somewhere in the background. The ninth steep tasted of mineraly low-grade green tea with astringency to it. Ditto for infusion ten, where some minor mineral sweetness may have also hinted of its presence. The eleventh infusion turned out bitter and astringent and just nasty in general. I ended up tossing it.

And there you have it. All in all this tea reminded me a lot of the Essence of Tea 2016 XinZhai that I reviewed a sample of some months ago. The flavor profiles are similar, although the XinZhai was tastier and much, much thicker in the early steeps and also displayed better overall longevity, while Pussy had perhaps a bit more going on in the steeps past the first four, although not much. Both taste still very young and seemed to be quite lacking in qi for me, but the one area Pussy was especially disappointing in was the lack of body. I severely hope this will improve with age. Comparing the two, while they may age to be two very different teas, looking at them now the XinZhai seems to offer a much better value in my eyes. The Essence of Tea offering will set you back around $0.21/g when talking about a full cake, whereas Pussy is more than twice that at $0.45/g. Personally I would drink neither now, nor would I purchase a cake of either, either. For the price Pussy is going for, there are a lot of fantastic teas out there. Do your research and find out which ones you prefer.

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Green, Mineral, Vanilla, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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I’ve been drinking loose leaf tea since around 2014 if I remember correctly, but the summer of 2016 is when I really became passionate about tea and I started brewing gong fu style at the start of 2017. While oolongs were my first love, I drink mostly pu’er these days. I do drink other types of tea with varying degrees of regularity as well, so I don’t discriminate.

I only review pu’er and don’t designate scores to any of the teas to encourage people to actually read the reviews and not just look at the scores. I tend to be thorough, so my reviews can run quite long, but I do try to always gather my thoughts at the end. These tasting notes are as much a record for myself for future reference as they are a review of the tea, so the format is something that’s geared to satisfy both.

You can follow my adventures on Instagram as tujukki.



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